Urgent call to employ doctors at Tumut Hospital

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There is a lack of doctors employed or locally available on-call for emergencies or anaethetics at Tumut Hospital often for several days a week.

Tumut Hospital area of emergency responsibility is 6 times larger than the ACT.

Our region is vast and unique including snowfields, Snowy Hydro assets and waterways, forests, large and small communities and highly productive mills of national significance.

Critically ill patients are reliant on helicopter and ambulance transport often leaving the community at risk and vulnerable in cases of emergency.

PETITION

The Petition of citizens of Tumut, the Snowy Valleys Council region and Wagga Wagga electorate Brings to the attention of the House the immediate need for two full-time doctors with emergency and anaesthetic qualifications to be employed at Tumut Hospital. There is an absence of an on-call doctor in some instances for several days at a time and a lack of doctors with emergency and anaesthetic qualifications.

The Hospital’s area of emergency responsibility is over 15,000 square kilometres about the size of Northern Ireland and the region is unique in its variety of sources for serious large emergencies from the mills, snow fields, waterways, tourist buses, logging, bush fires, and more. If a helicopter is available one or two critically ill patients may be evacuated leaving behind others without the care of appropriately trained doctors and while telehealth is a valuable resource hands-on care from these doctors is essential.

Patients are being ferried to Wagga Wagga for non-emergency situations taking paramedics out of action locally for hours at a time. Our citizens deserve appropriate medical care and yet the current situation confirms research which shows that the further away from a metropolitan hospital the greater the delay in receiving appropriate care and the greater the risk of poor health outcomes.

The undersigned petitioners therefore ask the Legislative Assembly to call on the NSW Ministry of Health to employ two full-time doctors with emergency and anaesthetic qualifications at Tumut Hospital.